Bill and Chris Snyder’s ’64 ½ “Shorty” Mustang will headline the 18th annual Amelia Concours d’Elegance on March 8-10 at Amelia Island, Florida.
The Mustang will be part of Amelia’s “What Were They Thinking?”class, a category consisting of eight unique cars that would not find a home on any other concours field. Built by Dearborn Steel Tubing from a pre-production Mustang chassis, the Snyders’ two-seater is a true one-off with fiberglass panels from the cowl to the tail. The wheelbase was shortened 16 inches and the standard 260 V-8 was enlarged to 302 cubic-inches.“It was custom built and became part of a Ford traveling show,” explains Snyder. “That’s where I first encountered the ‘shorty’ Mustang and I loved it. I said ‘I’m gonna buy one!’ but the Ford salesman said that there would be no such car for sale.”The one-of-a-kind Mustang fastback was designed by Bill Gardner, who was so convinced that Ford would eventually crush his creation that he hid it by building walls around the car in a warehouse. Gardner didn’t leave a trail but also failed to pay the rent for the warehouse. Within six months, the Mustang was discovered after the insurance company had paid Ford’s claim. The car was taken to the insurance company’s New England headquarters, where a company executive bought it. An ad in a magazine alerted Bill Snyder that his fantasy two-seat Mustang was available. The deal was done and one of Snyder’s employees drove Bill’s dream car to Ohio.For more information about the Amelia Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.